Saturday, September 16, 2006

Legislators gone wild, deregulation in Maryland

Maryland's Court of Appeals shot down a measure passed by the state's General Assembly earlier this year firing the entire Maryland Public Service Commission. The PSC members are to return to work until the governor fires them or their terms (or they) expire. Whichever comes first.

The General Assembly enacted the legislation upon hearing that deregulated Baltimore Gas & Electric planned to increase utility rates by some 70 percent on July 1 of this year.

For the record, this is the self-same legislature (give or take a seat) that designed Maryland's 1999 deregulation plan -- a measure affectionately known among Maryland ratepayers as "the deregulation plan that failed to anticipate 70 percent rate hikes on July 1, 2006."

(On another note, 20/20 Energy is still checking the archives, but we believe this also marks the first time since the departure of the late lamented Spiro T. Agnew that any Maryland official has emerged from a court case with a job.)

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